UCLA introduced Jim Mora as its new coach on Tuesday. Mora, 50, agreed to a five-year deal worth a guaranteed $12 million plus incentives and bonuses.
"This is proud institution, it's an outstanding academic institution. I say that it's a sleeping giant in college football," said Mora, who hasn't coached since 2009.
Mora, a defensive specialist, is about to get a crash course in offenses, from Oregon's spread to USC's pro-style attack. Then there's Washington State and new coach Mike Leach, who simply doesn't care what defense you line up in.
Competitive, friendly, honest. Jim Mora appears to have the ingredients to be a winner, but T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times says UCLA just made a huge mistake in hiring the 50-year-old Mora as coach.
Simers writes: "It remains almost incomprehensible how ill-prepared [athletic director] Dan Guerrero was after firing Rick Neuheisel. As it turns out, Guerrero had done nothing to assemble an inviting package capable of persuading candidates UCLA was now indeed serious about football."
Simers was just warming up.
"It appears UCLA has once again hired a coach who will need every break to go his way to have a chance for success. I guess that's the one thing we've come to count on about UCLA football: It just isn't that big of a draw in coaching circles."
And he has this piece of advice for the new coach: "Mora will also need a quality coaching staff to succeed, something UCLA lacked under Neuheisel. Based on history, I wouldn't suggest asking Guerrero for advice."
The final regular season ballots of coaches who vote in the USA Today poll has been released and we've just started picking through the carnage. The coaches poll is one-third of the BCS formula (the Harris poll and compilation of six computer rankings make up the other two-thirds), so there are plenty of shenanigans involved in "selecting" the two best teams to play in the BCS title game.
Louisiana State swept all the No. 1 votes and Alabama was No. 2 on 42 of the 59 ballots cast by coaches. No coach voted the Crimson Tide below No. 3.
Oklahoma State got 17 second-place votes and 36 third-place votes. It's from this point where the fun begins.
Alabama's Nick Saban, who voted LSU No. 1 and the Crimson Tide No. 2, voted Stanford No. 3, one spot ahead of Oklahoma State. That's the same order of the ballot turned in by Stanford's David Shaw.
Air Force's Troy Calhoun had the same top three, but put Arkansas at No. 4, one spot ahead of Oklahoma State. No other coach had Arkansas ranked as high or Oklahoma State ranked as low. Duke's David Cutcliffe, Syracuse's Doug Marrone and Missouri's Gary Pinkel, whose team will soon be moving to the SEC, voted Oklahoma State No. 4.
Former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster, working for Fox Sports during the broadcast of the Big Ten's inaugural championship game, twice refers to the league as the Big 12 in a postgame interview with Wisconsin's Chris Borland.